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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Picking Up the Pieces

 am a month out from finishing treatment for stage IIB, grade 3/ triple negative breast cancer. I have battled more depression and anxiety since the treatment than any I experienced during. I think of it like the marathon runner who finally crosses the finish line. Many times they collapse on the ground once they finish. During treatment you are battling for your life. The shock of the diagnosis can be surreal and you have to be strong during the battle. When its over, you have more time to think about it and the side effects of treatment are magnified when you are supposed to be "done battling". Everyday I feel good at some point, but everyday I feel bad too. It is a small window of good. My faith has always been strong and I know there is a reason for everything. The fear that this disease will return is very strong and overwhelming, even though I know I should not fear. Knowing that I am 43 and have so much life to live, makes me want to live life to the fullest everyday. However, how do you do that when your body is your prisoner? I pray for strength and I want so much to not be physically limited. My job is physically demanding and I have been self employed for 13 years.  From where I stand now, it is hard to imagine carrying the load that I had before I got sick.  I thank God that I have Kevin.  He has been so great during this time.  He has done so much of picking up the extra slack since I have been sick.  As all couples do, we have our ups and downs.  However, relationships are not about the day to day short runs. A marriage is not a sprint, it is  a marathon. I am just glad to know I have my family and all the support they bring, and I am so grateful for Kevin.


I have not updated this blog in a while.  I have been trying to not think about cancer.  I have been enjoying the time with the kids and trying to get back in the swing of working. Christmas is right around the corner, and for the first time I am not too far behind everything.  The girls and I put up a pink tree with survivors names on it...about 60 total. They really enjoyed doing it.  My hair is coming in so curly. If I dyed it black I would look like Betty Boop.  Well, probably not that good...actually, not even close!


Today I worked from about 8 a.m. to about 4:30...a very long day for me.  It was a pretty good one.  I have enjoyed my clients and how supportive they are of me.  They are very encouraging.  They have been very good to me.  I am so thankful for the loyalty that I have seen with a lot of them.  Many have reassured me that they will be here for me when I get through my surgeries.  It is a good feeling.  Even though I have lost many, God is faithful in his promises.  He has taken care of everything we have needed and then some.  (Debra S...thank you for your encouragement and your kindness.  You are awesome!)  I have clients that are praying for me and tell me all the time.  I called one of my clients and left a message with her husband yesterday.  Afterwards, he began to tell me how they were both praying for me.  I have never met him.  Tonight, I returned a call to one of my long time male clients (about 18 years). After setting up his appointment, he prayed with me over the phone and reassured me that God would provide a way for me to be off work and get my reconstruction soon.  It is times like these when I think..."why am I afraid at times?"  So many people have faith for me...what am I worried about?  Oh well, this journey is not easy.  My emotions are on a wild roller coaster ride.  As my good friend Patsy says, "this too shall pass!".  I feel as if I have rambled through this post...probably because I have.  Hey, it is called "chemo-brain".  It is the inability to focus, remember things, and stay on track.  Today I went to work with one black shoe on one foot, and one brown shoe on the other.  Last Saturday I had some friends stop by the house.  After they left, I realized I had a beige tennis shoe on one foot and a green on the other.  So this is my life.  I have had a few brain cells killed.  I was on the phone with Vicky yesterday at the end of my work day.  I walked around ten minutes looking for my cell phone while I was talking to her (on my cell phone!)  It is pretty scary.  Well, Kevin is on his way home so I am going to end this now.  Until next time my friends...



4 comments:

SingingWarrior said...

i've done some of the same things such as looking for something that was already in my hand. I don't have the chemo-brain excuse. hmmmmmm. Hormones?

Ellie K. Belfiglio said...

My dear Penny it so good that you write again. Every morning when I open my computer the first thing I do go to your name , I my favorites, I have you just as "PENNY", and then I see no post. I want to say I understand your up and down emotions but I don't. You must be through what you've through which most of them I witnessed to understand. About forgetting sometimes, that I Understand, because I forget all the time and I have to make notes for myself all the time. I am so happy the love between you and Kevin is endearing. I know that even the best of couples sometimes are tired or ... But keep it up, both of you. Kids will go one by one( you know what I mean, like you and me and your sisters) but you and kevin stay.
I love you my dear daughter. Say when, I see you either here or there, If not before , see you on Christmas. Love you , many hugs, mommy

Lori Lortscher said...

It was so good to visit with you the other day. Glad to hear the Pink Tree turned out so good! Just remember, you DO have great friends, a great family and a multitude of followers who pray for you everyday! Never doubt God's powers, he is awesome. He will come thru for you! I'll be praying for some extra brain cells for you (and a few for me!)!

Anonymous said...

hey penny i think of you every day. thanks for sharing. so glad you can enjoy your family and christmas. i miss you so much at work - but there are far more important things. you are a treasured friend. God gave you to me. i am so grateful. love you much , vicky